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 Trails Will Connect Raysville, Lewisville

May 28, 2008 - A Henry County group has been awarded a $650,000 grant from the state to use in developing two two-mile multi-use trails between Raysville and Lewisville along the former Penn Central railroad corridor.

Health Communities of Henry County is one of 28 groups splitting $19 million awarded by the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources last week for trails development. The grants, part of Gov. Mitch Daniels’ Hoosiers on the Move program, are expected to fund creation of 104 miles of new trails, including four in Henry County.

“This is great news for Henry County,” said Jeff Ray, who heads the trails committee for Healthy Communities of Henry County, recipient of the $650,000, its third grant since 2003. “We’ve been working hard at this for five years and this is just another step.”

Ray said the funds will be used to develop two two-mile sections of stone surface trail along the abandoned railroad corridor that runs parallel to U.S. Highway 40 – land the state purchased last year and donated to HCCH. The first section, he said, will start on the east end of Raysville and go to County Road 425-West, and the second will stretch from County Road 25-West to Lewisville.

According to Ray, the HCCH hopes to have the trails, which will be part of the National Road Heritage Trail, completed by next year. In addition to the trails, he said the $650,000 will also pay for creation of trailheads and the installation of parking areas and two handicap accessible ramps.

The HCCH has received $2.4 million in grant funds for trail development over the past four and-a-half years, including a $1.3 million grant from the Indiana Dept. of Transportation in 2003. That grant was for the first phase of the Wilbur Wright trail that will stretch northeast from the New Castle YMCA to State Road 103, a project Ray said is expected to break ground soon.

A $450,000 grant was also received from IDOT in 2004. Ray said those funds will be used for additional land acquisition along the National Road railroad corridor in areas like Knightstown, where the land is owned by multiple private owners.

In preparation for construction of the two sections of trail, the HCCH trails committee plans to begin cleaning up trash along the railroad corridor next month. Ray said the group gladly welcomes volunteers and anyone interested in helping out should contact him at (765) 987-8783.


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